The plumbing systems in our home provide us with fresh water and removes our waste. These systems need routine maintenance to ensure that they will function properly when needed. There are many repairs that you can do yourself before picking up the phone to call a plumber. You can fix simple clogs, leaks, replace hardware and drain your pipes for winter.
Drains under constant use will eventually clog after a few months or years. The first thing to try is a plunger. It will push the clog down the drain pipe in most cases. If this fails, you can also try using a chemical drain cleaner that you pour into drain. This will eat away at stubborn clogs containing hair, solidified soap or fats from food waste. You can also purchase a pipe snake if you know the location of the access plugs on your plumbing system.
Repairing Leaky Pipes
Any type of pipes can develop leaks as they age. It is important to know differences between water pipes and drain pipes. Water pipes are under pressure. In drain pipes, the water flows down a slope and requires no pressure. Repairing a leaky water pipe requires the use of a standard pipe clamp. You can find this at any hardware store. Use it to hold a piece of rubber around the leaking pipe. This will also work on drain pipes. The lack of pressure in drain pipes means you can also use plumber’s putty on them.
Repairing Faucet Handles and Valves
Another common problem that homeowners find are faulty faucet handles and leaky valves. Handles are quite easy to fix. You must pull out the center vanity plug and remove the screw holding the handle. Valves can be a bit more difficult. First, turn off the main water supply. Remove the handle and unscrew the valve. Take the valve to a local hardware store and ask for help with finding a replacement. This will stop annoying and wasteful drips from inflating your monthly water bill.
Winterizing Your Home
Most house water pipes are equipped with a drain feature. Draining your pipes ensures they can’t freeze and rupture when your home is not being heated. This is an important preparation step when you want to leave your house during the winter months for an extended vacation. You must start by turning off the main water supply for the house. Drain and turn off the hot water heater as well. Follow this by drain the pipes in the house. Always remember to replace the plug and fill the water heater again before turning it on.
Retrieving Lost items
When you lose something down the drain, it usually sits in the water trap that prevents sewer gas from coming up your drain. To retrieve a lost item, you need to place a bowl under the water trap. Unscrew the pipe above and below the “S” shaped section, which is the trap. Dump out the contents of this curvy pipe and you should find your lost jewelry.
These are just some of the ways that homeowners can save time and money when dealing with plumbing. If you are uncomfortable with the idea of removing pipes or shutting off your water supply, call a professional plumber to help guide you through the process.
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This post is brought to you by Jack Howard. A poor plumbing system in the home can be costly, that’s why he consults ExpressRooter Plumbing 750 Oakdale Road Toronto, ON M3N 2Z4 Canada? +1 416-233-2660 for plumbing repairs at home. For more information, visit their website at http://www.expressrooter.ca